By Dustin Fife I love when news organizations reach out to librarians. A local news agency reached out to me today to ask about internet filtering and some possible legislation […]
By Dustin Fife I was lucky enough to watch Martin Garnar present at a library conference last week. He presented about library ethics and intellectual freedom. Martin is dean of […]
“If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.”–Neil Gaiman
None of this is new to you I hope, but those three articles from the Library Bill of Rights get me incredibly excited. Hopefully they get you excited as well. The reason I love them is because they are not passive proclamations of professional hopes. They are calls to extraordinary action.
This week I’m writing about non-library intellectual freedom advocates. Groups that can help in the fight, or even lead the fight, for intellectual freedom. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the most important civil liberties organizations around. Their motto is, “Defending Your Rights In The Digital World.” I want you to read the first paragraph from their about page and try to tell me that they are not kindred spirits!
EveryLibrary is a nonprofit Political Action Committee (PAC) “chartered to work exclusively on local library ballot initiatives.” Their call to arms and motto is what first drew me to this organization: “Any library initiative anywhere, matters to every library everywhere.” The library world is small, and we politically share in victories and defeats.
Discussions of Islam are essential to many subjects; history, literature, art, political science, geography, and science would all be immensely hurt by eliding Islam. Teaching calligraphy without talking about Islam would be like teaching art history without talking about Catholicism. Teachers and scholars need to be able to teach reality, not have to bend curriculum to societal fears. Students and children need to know what is real, not what some wish was real.
Earlier this month, Slate published a disconcerting article titled: “ISIS Gives Us No Choice but to Consider Limits on Speech.” It was written by eminent legal scholar Eric Posner, a Yale and Harvard educated academic, who is currently employed by the University of Chicago Law School. Posner’s is an old and insinuative argument. In order to stop an enemy, you must stop people from being curious about that enemy.
At the Wasilla Public Library in Alaska, community members are lining up at the local council meeting to complain about the highly acclaimed non-fiction book for teens.